Spice up your spices and take full advantage of their flavor by grinding, crushing or heating them.
Spices — the bark, roots, seeds or berries of certain plants — pack the biggest flavor punch when they’re whole, but biting into a whole clove, coriander seed or cinnamon stick is not a pleasant experience. Breaking their outer surface – in a food processor, coffee grinder or crushing them with the side of your knife – helps release the flavor without the added texture or overpowering bite.
Our friends at McCormick Spices suggest ground spices should be replaced after 3 to 4 years, whole spices after 4 years and dried, leafy herbs after 1 to 3 years. Despite the fact that dried herbs and spices have these extremely long shelf lives, their flavor can fade long before. Here’s a quick way to bring them back to life.
Once they’re ground or crushed, heating your spices in a dry (no water or oil) sauté pan over medium heat will deepen their flavor. It’s also a great way to refresh spices that have been sitting in your pantry for a while. Be careful to heat them only until they’re aromatic – when you can smell them, they’re done. Get them out of the hot pan before they burn.
Spice up your spices then put them to use in these delicious recipes.
Grilled Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak
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